Why pick on our friends but not our enemies?
16 March '10
Foreign policy expert Walter Russell Mead has joined Thomas Friedman and others in congratulating the Obama administration for condemning Israel over the announcement it was building 1600 apartment units in East Jerusalem.
“The Obama administration had no choice but to respond strongly,” Mead writes. “Otherwise the administration would have looked weak and irresolute and the repercussions throughout the world could well have been grave.”
But in the Middle East, nothing reeks of weakness more than lashing out publicly at an ally. The administration is well aware of this, because it has endured the insults of virtually every one of its Arab allies (all except for Egypt). Most recently, for example, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal criticized Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to her face, explaining that the United States’s proposed sanctions against Iran were too little, too late.
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